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What Growing Carnivorous Plants Taught Me About Life

Venus Flytrap · Carnivorous Plant

I love carnivorous plants. I was a member of the International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS) at age 7. They were based in Fullerton, CA at that time.

My local carnivorous plant nursery, California Carnivores, was the promised land in my eyes as a child. And my grandparents supported my interest and would drive me 2 hours to see the nursery (located in Forestville-Guerneville originally) and purchase plants.

In hindsight, I realized why carnivorous plants were such an obsession. In this article, I want to share with you some practical life lessons I gained from cultivating carnivorous plants.

Carnivorous Plants Tell Us To Survive & Thrive

Carnivorous Plants are found in nutrient-poor acidic wetlands, fens, bogs, etc. Not much can survive there. If you’ve ever seen them in the wild, their ecosystems are very unimpressive.

What this speaks to me is, it doesn’t matter where you came from or where you are—you can find a way to adapt.

Adaptation is survival. And acceptance, to overcome your environment, is to thrive.

Carnivorous Plants Teaches Us Patience

These plants have developed sinister and attractive ways to lure, capture, and eat their prey. They aren’t mobile to hunt…they rely and trust on their skills to attract whatever it is they seek.

This is an important mindset. The ability to have patience. But even deeper, the ability to trust that whatever needs to come into your life, will come.

Differentiate the difference between your wants and needs. And know if you’ve set yourself up to be receptive to your goals—and you put in the effort—it will come.

Being Exotic Or Different Makes You Beautiful

You won’t find plants as interesting as Carnivorous Plants. I might be biased, but I ask you to research images of Drosera’s (Sundews); Nepenthes (Tropical Pitcher Plants); Darlingtonia (Cobra Lilly); Pinguicula (Butterworts); Sarracenia (Pitcher Plants)—and tell me, have you ever seen a plant like that?

If these plants could talk, imagine how different carnivorous plants might feel from their counterparts.

I wouldn’t chastise them for being different…I celebrate their difference. It’s what makes them interesting. 

Give yourself permission to be different: it’s okay. It’s more than okay.

Carnivorous Plants Are Rare

You might even label them “exclusive”. The world-renowned Venus’ Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is only found in a very small radius in North Carolina. No, it’s not a tropical alien jungle. They’re found in a very unspectacular area.

As the habitats of carnivorous plants are destroyed for urbanization, many of these plants will go extinct.

The price tag for cultivators and collectors are astronomical. As some carnivorous plants now only exist because of the caretakers and botanists who desire to keep them in existence.

Treat yourself as exclusive. Treat your heart and energy as a special rarity—because they are.

Carnivorous Plants Have Very Finicky Requirements—So Should You

These plants have very specific requirements for water (distilled and pure, no minerals/TDS); soil (acidic/nutrient poor); exposure to light; temperature; humidity; etc.

If these requirements aren’t met, they die.

You need to know what your requirements are to be healthy, well, and happy. Never compromise.

There’s a saying, “If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for everything.”

Side note: it is important to be self-aware of why certain needs are essential and a requirement for you. Is it insecurity from a past hurt or trauma? Is it because you were taught that? Be fair in what your needs are. And expect the same from another.

Be Vigilant In What You Stand For

These plants have perfected themselves in hunting for prey, in the worst of environments to thrive. In the care of a skilled grower, these plants become pets. And they provide joy and contentment, as they blossom with amazing shows of unique plant traps, flowers, and offspring.

Because of their rarity in nature, these plants also symbolize the importance of conserving our most sensitive ecosystems. These places are their home.

What does this say to you? Know your delicate relationship with the world around you. You can make changes. Either proactive. Or destructive.

Life is balance. Always.


Growing Carnivorous Plants was a joy through most of my childhood. I had my own greenhouse. And owned plants that were from exotic destinations: Borneo; Papua New Guinea; Madagascar; and more.

Caring for them gave me a great sense of responsibility. Not only to my plant collection but to the environment.

Many species have gone extinct in my lifetime. But having had the pleasure of growing them myself, is a tremendous gift.

I now see, I loved them because they were so different. Which spoke to my feeling of being different. And still, I found a beauty in them.

Perhaps, in a way, finding beauty within myself.

It is through the eyes of nature we can discover much of ourselves. After all, we are simply one expression of nature.

Stay Safe & Vigilante,

– Liana

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